• Home
  • Articles
  • Old School Magic: Chapter 5 – New Strategies for the Old School: The Transmute Control Deck

Articles

Old School Magic: Chapter 5 – New Strategies for the Old School: The Transmute Control Deck

Series Index

Chapter 1: Back to the Future – An Introduction to Old School Magic

Chapter 2: Old School Magic – The History of “The Deck”

Chapter 3: Old School Magic – A Visit to the Zoo

Chapter 4: Build Your Own Old School Format

Chapter 5: New Strategies for the Old School: The Transmute Control Deck

Chapter 6: Banning and Restriction in Old School

Chapter 7: New Strategies for the Old School: Blue-Red Aggro Control

Chapter 8: 2nd Place at Eternal Weekend, 2016 with Blue-Red Aggro-Control

Chapter 9: Reanimator Rises to the Top!

Chapter 10: Rules of the Road

Chapter 11: The Untold History of Combo in Old School

Chapter 12: Building a Stronger Prison

Part of the fun of Old School Magic is designing new strategies in the old school card pool, especially strategies that, for one reason or another, were not fully explored or pursued.  When the first Old School Magic tournament organized in my area was announced for May, 2014, I decided to get off the ledge, and begin a more serious investigation of the latent possibilities in the format.  My work on the History of Vintage had already uncovered many lost or largely forgotten decks and strategies of early Type I, so I was positioned about as well as anyone to identify promising areas of exploration. There were many strategic possibilities that were not fully explored in early Type I or in contemporary Old School Magic formats, because the player base is relatively small, and many players treat the format casually.

My initial goal was to identify the best unrestricted cards in the format, a more challenging endeavor than you might imagine. The designers of the 93/94 Banned and Restricted list attempted to meld modern sensibilities with historical knowledge, but this is an imperfect exercise.  Some cards that were restricted in 1994 probably do not deserve to be there, as we covered in earlier articles, and some cards that were unrestricted in 1993/94 probably deserve to be restricted in Old School 93/94 (as the consensus on Mana Drain illustrates). As Old School Magic has grown in popularity in recent years, communities of interest deviated from historical Type I Banned and Restricted lists on account of this mismatch. But there were cards that never received restricted list consideration historically or in modern Eternal formats that we can now recognized as much  more powerful than may have been viewed at the time.

Exploiting cards that never commanded adulation or fear, and yet modern precepts and principles teach may be abused, was the focus of my search.  One of the cards that I felt had the most promise and was largely ignored in early Type I and underutilized in contemporary Old School was Transmute Artifact.  Constructed Magic in 1994 had virtually no tutors aside from Demonic Tutor, and artifacts are one of the most powerful and high-utility card types.  Since both Mana Crypt and Mana Vault were unrestricted in Type I until 1999, it is somewhat amazing that there is no documented effort or success with Transmute Artifact.

 

antiquitiestransmuteartifact1

Antiquities Transmute Artifact

Transmute Artifact is not only one of the coolest Old School cards ever printed (don’t try reading the original card text unless you want a laugh), but it was a design progenitor for the uber-powerful Tinker.  Although Tinker is far more powerful than its predecessor (much like Necropotence vis-à-vis Greed), the original model may be more powerful than early Type I players, or contemporary Old School players, gave it credit for.  Transmute has sometimes appeared in modern Eternal formats in relation to either the Time Vault combo or the Painter’s Servant/Grindstone combo.  Although Old School Magic lacks such simple two card combos (although Time Vault, Jandor’s Sandlebags, and Animate Artifact are close), Transmute Artifact was of a sufficiently high natural power level to warrant serious consideration.

In any format with moxen, Transmute Artifact is a reliable tutor in a format with precious few tutors, and the Moxen themselves can be used to pay the difference in mana costs.  A greater part of Tinker’s value lay in it’s capacity to cheat mana costs, to transform a zero mana gemstone into a 12 mana iron giant. In this respect, Transmute keeps things fair. You have to pay the difference between what is given and what is gained.  But in Old School Magic, mana costs are more uniform – there are few artifacts that cost more than six mana that you’d want to Tinker out.  The largest artifact creature is Colossus of Sardia, and it would not serve as a useful Tinker target.

Having decided to explore the possibilities with Transmute Artifact, the next step in my investigation was to identify useful Transmute targets.  It didn’t take long to come up with a long list:

 

After this brief review, Transmute Artifact seemed like one of the nuttiest cards that no one was playing with.  It dawned on me that you could build a Transmute “toolbox” for almost any situation.  With Chaos Orb alone legal, Transmute could find an incredibly powerful removal spell. You could tutor for defensive weapons like Meekstone, Forcefield, Icy Manipulator, and Tawnos Coffin.  You could find broadly powerful utility artifacts, like Disrupting Scepter or Jayemdae Tome (two key weapons in The Deck), or situational utility artifacts like Mirror Universe and Tormod’s Crypt. You could also find finishers like The Hive or Serpent Generator.

 

alphathehive2

Alpha The Hive

legendsserpantgenerator1

Legends Serpent Generator

Perhaps one of the most attractive elements of Transmute was the way that you could design a deck to tutor up cards like City in a Bottle.  Recent errata and the limited card pool of Old School Magic makes City in a Bottle even more powerful.  It removes not only the most powerful creatures in the format (Juzam, Serendibs, Kird Ape, etc), but it also takes out the format’s only multi-color mana fixer, City of Brass.  City in a Bottle is like a two colorless Doom Blade mixed with the Abyss and mana denial properties. And once City has done it’s job, you can Transmute it away for something better.

arabiancityinbottle1

Arabian Nights City in a Bottle

I also realized that the Transmute toolbox could scale up the mana curve depending your resources.  Early in the game you could find cheap spells without having to pay more, if any, additional mana.  But as your resources grew, you could find increasingly expensive cards, like Jayomdae Tome or Mirror Universe, when mana was more abundant.

I drew up a decklist, and quickly realized in a short amount of testing how much better Disrupting Scepter was, both in general, and as a Transmute target, than I had imagined. This was often a game-winning play, but it did not require that I ran a large number of Scepters.  With just 1, and a few Transmutes, I could reliably find my Scepter.  This meant that I’d have room for other cards.

alphadisruptingspecter1

Alpha Disrupting Scepter

After a good deal of theory crafting, discussion, and testing, I tuned my concept into a strong Weissman variant.  I decided that although Transmute certainly had potential in a Juggernaut deck, I felt it’s defensive options were simply stronger.  Here’s the deck I sleeved up for tournament play:

Old School

“The Tinker The Deck” AKA “The Weissman Tinker Deck” – May 18, 2014

By Stephen Menendian


 

Creatures and Spells:

1 Serra Angel

1 Mana Drain

1 Power Sink

4 Counterspell

4 Swords to Plowshares

4 Disenchant

1 Ancestral Recall

1 Time Walk

1 Braingeyser

1 Recall

2 Transmute Artifact

1 Mirror Universe

1 Millstone

1 Chaos Orb

1 Disrupting Scepter

1 Jayemdae Tome

1 Forcefield

1 City in a Bottle

Mana Sources:

1 Moat

1 Maze of Ith

4 Tundra

4 Plains

1 Karakas

9 Island

1 Strip Mine

2 Mishra’s Factory

1 Mox Jet

1 Mox Sapphire

1 Mox Pearl

1 Mox Ruby

1 Mox Emerald

1 Sol Ring

1 Mana Vault

1 Library of Alexandria

1 Black Lotus

Sideboard:

1 Amnesia

1 Balance

4 Blue Elemental Blast

2 Old Man of the Sea

2 Control Magic

2 Dust to Dust

1 Nevinyrral’s Disk

1 Moat

1 Disrupting Scepter

Card explanations are in order.

The Transmute Toolbox

Until the very last moment, I could not quite settle on whether to run two or three copies of Transmute Artifact.  After a good deal of testing with this deck, the right number of Transmutes seemed to be 2.5, so I elected to use the tournament experience to resolve the debate for me.  But what cards would I run in the suite of options?  Based on testing, Chaos Orb, City in a Bottle and Disrupting Scepter were all automatic inclusions.  As much as I found Disrupting Scepter to be surprisingly effective, I found Jayemdae Tome to be equally underwhelming.  Yet, there were enough situations to justify it. Forcefield tested well against big creature strategies, although was weak against weenie strategies.

Mirror Universe was restricted, and I added it as a matter of course, and also as a late game Transmute target.  I also felt that I needed another win condition, and rather than go the Serpent Generator or Robot route, I decided to include Millstone.  Millstone was never dead because I could play it in the early game, and then sacrifice it to Transmute to find something better.  But I rarely, if ever, actually won with it.  Nonetheless, I felt it was necessary to have another win condition with just one Serra Angel and some Factories.  I tested an Ivory Tower for some time, but discovered that it rarely gained me life, so I cut it in testing.

I didn’t want to it maindeck, but I decided that I wanted an emergency, reset button in the sideboard with Nev’s Disk.

Countermagic

Mana Drain and Counterspells are automatic inclusions – these are the best counterspells in Old School Magic.  The question is what other counterspells, if any, to include, and in what quantities.  Power Sink was about as good as Spell Pierce is in contemporary Vintage – often useful, and sometimes limited or dead.  I decided that at least one Power Sink warranted inclusion, as I didn’t feel that 5 counterspells was really sufficient.

Removal

After only a small amount of testing, the formula of 4 Disenchant and 4 Swords to Plowshares quickly reaffirmed itself as correct. These are the best single-target removal spells in this format.  The format is full of creatures and artifacts.  These cards are basically as good as a Counterspell in most matchups.

Creature Defense

One of the big, unanswered questions I had going into the tournament was the proper number of Moat.  I knew I wanted access to at least one Moat maindeck, although it was not particularly synergistic with Mishra’s Factory.  I also settled on another in the sideboard for creature-heavy decks.  City in a Bottle could deal with a good number of creatures, and Forcefield could deal with even more, but there is no true substitute for a Moat. Serra Angel was both a defensive tactic as well as a win condition.

Testing had consistently proven how good Maze of Ith was.  It’s somewhat amazing in retrospect that Maze was not  more prolific in early Type I. Maze is an unbelievably good card in Old School Magic.

thedarkmazeofith1

The Dark Maze of Ith

Mishra’s Factories were also included as defensive measures, and backup win conditions.  The limit to the number of Factories I could reasonably include was the demands on my mana base of getting UU reliably online for countermagic and Transmute as quickly as possible, as well as the need to get WW online for Moats and the other white cards in my sideboard.  Nonetheless, Factory is simply too powerful to omit entirely.

Restricted Cards

Ancestral Recall and Time Walk are obvious inclusions, but only a brief amount of testing reaffirmed how insane Braingeyser and Recall are.  These are cards that deserve their restriction in this format.

The Mana Base

One of the trickiest aspects of building Old School Magic decks is constructing the mana base.  Without fetchlands and so much more deck manipulation, you really have to put in a good deal of testing.  With Transmute and City in a Bottle, I knew I’d want to go straight UW.  This would also give me immunity to Blood Moon.  I started with around 28-29 mana sources, like The Deck, but kept adding them until I reached 31!  This deck is so mana hungry that you can never run out of mana.  At a minimum, you can activate Scepter and Tome once per turn, and want to hold up mana for removal and countermagic.  That kept pushing the mana count higher and higher.

The most unbelievable artifact pairing with Transmute is Mana Vault. Mana Vault is the ultimate fuel for Transmute. Turn one Mana Vault, turn two Transmute can surface almost any artifact in your deck. Even a tapped Mana Vault is a great sacrifice target for Transmute, and spares you damage every turn for a profit.

I also decided to include both Strip Mine and Library (despite having City in a Bottle), which meant that I had 4 colorless lands with my pair of Factories (and I wanted more!).

The Sideboard

It is impossible to calibrate a mainboard perfectly for the scope of possible decks in an Old School Magic tournament.  It is also more difficult to predict metagames in a format like this, so a wider scope of solutions is probably necessary, with versatility and power being a decisive factor.

Elemental Blasts are among the best cards in Old School Magic, and Blue Elemental Blast, although the weaker of the two, is certainly valuable in a range of matchups, from Aggro decks to tempo decks.  One of the archetypes I feared most was blue-based Aggro decks.  Blue Elemental Blast shines in this matchup.  I also decided against including COP: Reds, albeit reluctantly.

Control Magic is another powerful effect, and I could not resolve how to split up my Control Magic effects, so I ultimately settled on an even split between Control Magic and Old Man of the Sea.  Control Magic is an amazing spell, and a source of card advantage, and is best against big-mana creatures like Juzam or Ernham Djinn.  Old Man, on the other hand, shines against Kird Ape decks and is useful against White Weenie.  Rather than going all in on one, I liked having mana versatility – having one cost three and another cost four.  I realize that City in a Bottle is dissynergistic with Old Man, but was willing to accept this drawback for the power and efficiency Old Man provided.

Between the Control Magic effects and the additional Moat (as well as the Balance, which was included solely for power level reasons), I felt like I’d have a strong handle on the creature matchups – like black weenie, white weenie, and Zoo variants – but artifact decks were another thing altogether.

Four Disenchants are not sufficient to combat a dedicated artifact deck. As between Energy Flux, Divine Offering and Dust to Dust, I settled on Dust to Dust. Although more expensive, Dust to Dust is a tremendous card, and a form of card advantage.  Also, I had Disk as a hedge for being overwhelmed.  Disk also gave me a powerful out to a potential Enchantress opponent, which I thought was possible, although low probability.

Another archetype I considered preparing for would be Reanimator variants like The Machine, which use Animate Dead and Hell’s Caretaker for recursion.  I considered a singleton Tormod’s Crypt, but ultimately removed it in the final cut.

The final area of concern were Control mirrors.  Without red, I could not incorporate tactics like Red Elemental Blast, so I needed to fight the control mirror on other grounds.  I strongly considered cards like Mana Short, but ultimately settled on more discard effects, putting an Amnesia and Disrupting Scepter, which I had maindeck, into the sideboard.  I considered a second Power Sink in the sideboard, but lacked room in the final draft of the deck.

On May 18th, 2014, I showed up with this deck in tow, eager for battle at Eudemonia, a game store nestled on the edge of campus in Berkeley, California. With a dozen or so players having shown up for our inaugural event, we played five rounds of swiss to determine a winner.  My notes were incomplete, but here is a brief synopsis of my matches:

Round One: Heiner Litz with UB Aggro-Control

Heiner Litz is a long time Vintage player, and one of the strongest advocates for Old School Magic. Heiner was playing what I can only describe as “blue black good stuff.” His report can be found here.

I have only a few critical points to add to his description of the match.  I began the first game with two Plows in hand, and sent his first turn Hypnotic Scepter farming, but not his second turn Juzam, because I had a Moat in hand. Although its true he could have Strip Mined my Tundra to prevent me from playing Moat, the problem was that I made a mistake in using my Strip Mine on him first.  Had I not done that, I could have played the Moat the turn before he would have cast Gloom even with Flux in play since I had 8 land in play.  That ended up being the only Chaos Orb flip I missed on the day.  I ended that game with Plow, Disenchant, and Serra Angel in hand.  Had the Chaos Orb worked, I would have been able to Disenchant the 2nd Gloom, and cast Serra Angel through the third, and win the game.

In this photo, you can see my Moat holding off his Juzam, with Transmute on the stack!

The most comic moment in the second game was when he had three Gloom in play, but I had Control Magicked on his Knight of the Ebon Hand to slowly kill him.  He prevented me from doing so with a Drain Life, which fueled his Greed draw engine. Given his Gloom plan, I was really happy that I really didn’t rely on White cards post-board.   On my last turn before dying, I played Control Magic on his Serindib so that I could kill him the following turn almost no matter what he did unless he had another Drain life or a Pisonic Blast.  Turns out he drew Psionic Blast, and killed me while going to 1!

We didn’t have time for a third game, but I’m sure it would have been just as epic.

Record: 0-0-1

Round Two: John Delustro with WW/Zoo Hybrid

John brought potent Aggro deck that seemed as if he has shuffled a Zoo and white weenie deck together. It packed a punch, but this match was quick and dirty. In the first game, I plowed his first two creatures, and then resolved and protected Moat, which won the game.  Forcefield reinforced my defenses, until he scooped.  In the second game, he only had two City of Brass for mana, and I blew him out by Transmuting for City in a Bottle. Whoops!

Record: 1-0-1

Round Three: John Doe with Multi-Color Control

Unfortunately, I did not note my opponent’s name, but he brought a typical Old School concoction.  A mysterious control brew with good stuff, but that feel that it wasn’t an optimized threat.  That said, he opened the first game with Turn 1 Library of Alexandria, and had it active for three turns before I found Library, and started drawing cards.  A turn four Transmute for Disrupting Scepter, however, pushed him out of library range, and I recovered to win the game.  We don’t believe we finished the second game.

Record: 2-0-1

Round Four: Dustin Esperson w/ 5c Control

Dustin was playing a a nasty 5c Control deck pulled from the European 93/94 metagames, pimped out with the most beautiful Alpha and Beta cards you can find, and a seemingly endless supply of Jayemdae Tome. This would be a true test.

In the first game, Dustin played turn two Amnesia for my entire hand, and despite every effort to claw myself back into the game, Dustin dropped The Book on me.

In a game two, things looked bleak when Dustin dropped an active Library, but after some maneuvering, I managed to get him to tap down on his endstep, and untapped to play Transmute Artifact for City in a Bottle, knocking out Library AND Two City of Brass! Suffice to say, I ended up winning that game.

Dustin’s version of The Deck was defined by multiple Tomes and a number of Felwar Stones. After an early dance for development, I dropped the Dust to Dust hammer to exile artifact threats and win this game.

Record: 3-0-1

Round Five: Blaine Christenson with “Big Blue Artifacts”

Blaine is a fierce Eternal competitor, and the 2012 Vintage Championship finalist.  I know he was jonesing for some Old School Magic in the Bay Area, so I knew he’d be packing heat, and an interesting strategy.  He did not disappoint.

Blaine played an interesting and innovative mono blue artifact deck using four Transmute Artifacts:

Old School

“Big Blue Artifacts”

By Blaine Christiansen


 

Creatures and Spells:

4 Juggernaut

4 Su-Chi

4 Counterspell

4 Psionic Blast

4 Transmute Artifact

1 Mana Drain

1 Time Walk

1 Ancestral Recall

1 Recall

1 Braingeyser

1 Chaos Orb

1 Jayemdae Tome

1 Triskelion

1 Nevinyrral’s Disk

1 Timetwister

1 Tawnos’s Coffin

1 Forcefield

1 Mirror Universe

Mana Sources:

14 Island

1 Mishra’s Workshop

1 Library of Alexandria

1 Strip Mine

1 Black Lotus

1 Mox Emerald

1 Mox Jet

1 Mox Ruby

1 Mox Pearl

1 Mox Sapphire

1 Sol Ring

1 Mana Vault

2 Basalt Monolith

Sideboard:

1 Old Man of the Sea

2 Force Spike

1 Maze of Ith

1 Disrupting Scepter

1 Triskelion

3 Control Magic

3 Blue Elemental Blast

3 Psychic Purge

As you can see, Blaine independently came to many of the same conclusions that I had!  He built a powerful toolbox. The only obviously missing card was City in a Bottle.

In my first game against Blaine, I established tentative control, with a Disrupting Scepter emptying his hand, and a Serra Angel and a Millstone attacking him from two angles, with him having no threats!  But he topdecked a Psionic blast that killed my Angel and then topdecked a Braingeyser and drew 8 cards!  I only had 2 cards in hand, and I thought I was toast, but I managed to squeeze myself back into the game, survived his assault with a Forcefield and Maze of Ith, and then eventually decked him!  This was probably the most epic game of the day in a tournament filled with incredible Magic.

In the second game, Moat came down early and took over the game.  Moat not only locked out all of his creatures, but he had very few answers to it – the only being Chaos Orb or Disk, which he can Transmute for.  My countermagic couldn’t prevent that from happening, but Control Magic on his creature and a resolved Serra Angel finished the game.

Final record: 4-0-1 for a First Place finish!

The Top 8 decklists, and some photos, can be seen here, including a photo of my deck!

I selected a strong deck, identified an underappreciated tactic, and played well.  But more importantly, Transmute Artifact proved it’s worth.  In many cases, (like Transmuting for Chaos Orb or City in a Bottle, Transmute is actually better than Tinker.  When finding Disrupting Scepter or Forcefield, it’s just the same.

In retrospect, I wonder if one reason that Transmute never saw much historical play was a misunderstanding of how the card worked, not to mention fears of card disadvantage.  Not only are those fears misplaced (you only lose a card as part of the effect, not the cost), with experience of Tinker behind us, that concern seems especially unwarranted.  And with Mana Drain restricted, Transmute is an even stronger tactic, since there are fewer hard counterspells out there to stop it.

If you do decide to play with Transmute, be sure to study up the errata, as Transmute artifact has counter-intuitive errata.  In 2010, Transmute was given additional errata to clarify that it does not work like Flash, despite evidence that judges believed it would in the mid-1990s.  So, if you fail to pay the difference between the mana cost of the card you sacrificed and the card tutored for, that creature never comes into play (imagine what that would mean for a card like Triskelion!).  The other important thing to note, which I already mentioned, is that the sacrifice is part of the effect, not the cost, contrary to the plain language of the card.

Overall, my deck could have been slightly stronger and better tuned.  It was apparent after a while that Mirror Universe was simply not worth playing maindeck.  It may be strong against burn decks, but it’s also slow, and not worth maindecking.  It’s not a win condition, and does not really pull its weight.

Similarly, Millstone did not really pull its weight either.  It wasn’t awful, but it was not optimal for the slot it occupied. A Hive effect would have been much stronger.

Third, unbelievably, I underestimated Moat.  I feared resolving Moat only to have it destroyed.  I thought that Moat would be well-prepared for, but I was mistaken.  I should have run two maindeck Moats and a third in the sideboard.

Finally, there were too many situations in which I did not draw a counterspell.  I believe a second Power Sink should be included in this deck.  Power Sink was even better than it had performed in testing.

The main concern I had about this deck is the presence of only one maindeck win condition, unless we count Factories, which are less reliable in a double Moat maindeck.  That said, it is unlikely that I won’t have more win conditions post-board.

A Mana Short is probably worthwhile in the SB, as it can help clear the way for a game-ending Transmute or any other decisive play.

I can’t pretend to suggest what an optimal configuration of this strategic approach might truly look like, but that’s partly because there are so many potential directions to go.  Transmute Artifact is a tactic that I have enjoyed enormously in Old School Magic, and I’ll share more adventures with Transmute in future articles.

Until next time,

Stephen Menendian

19 comments
reply

Building Power Monolith – End of turn, draw a card says:

Feb 13,2018

[…] Artifact is also a quite underplayed card, as Stephen Menendian has pointed out numerous times. In particular, I chose to run a maindeck copy of City in a Bottle, even though I played the full […]

reply

Old School Magic: Chapter 12 – Building a Stronger Prison – Vintage Magic says:

Aug 26,2017

[…] Chapter 5: New Strategies for the Old School: The Transmute Control Deck […]

reply

Chapter 2 | Old School Magic – The History of “The Deck” – Vintage Magic says:

May 30,2017

[…] Chapter 5: New Strategies for the Old School: The Transmute Control Deck […]

reply

peta dunia says:

May 25,2017

[…] Chapter 5: New Strategies for the Old School: The Transmute Control Deck […]

reply

Chapter 3 | Old School Magic – A Visit to the Zoo – Vintage Magic says:

May 25,2017

[…] Chapter 5: New Strategies for the Old School: The Transmute Control Deck […]

reply

Old School Magic: Chapter 11 – The Untold History of Combo in Old School – Vintage Magic says:

May 20,2017

[…] Chapter 5: New Strategies for the Old School: The Transmute Control Deck […]

reply

Consvikdigangfa says:

Mar 27,2017

[…] Chapter 5: New Strategies for the Old School: The Transmute Control Deck […]

reply

Old School Magic: Chapter 9 – Reanimator Rises to the Top! – Vintage Magic says:

Jan 23,2017

[…] Chapter 5: New Strategies for the Old School: The Transmute Control Deck […]

reply

Old School Magic: Chapter 8 — 2nd Place at Eternal Weekend, 2016 with Blue-Red Aggro-Control – Vintage Magic says:

Dec 19,2016

[…] Chapter 5: New Strategies for the Old School: The Transmute Control Deck […]

reply

Old School Magic: Chapter 7 – New Strategies for the Old School: Blue-Red Aggro Control – Vintage Magic says:

Nov 26,2016

[…] Chapter 5: New Strategies for the Old School: The Transmute Control Deck […]

reply

The Balance Case (or how I went insane) – timewalking says:

Nov 03,2016

[…] like Martin Berlin and more and more other The Book players, Stephen Menendian starting 60 “The Tinker The Deck” and I expect things to normalize to zero balance played in control […]

reply

Gael says:

Oct 26,2016

I love that you don't play Balance maindeck. Why did you even put one in the side ?

Steve Menendian says:

Oct 26,2016

It’s there for Aggro decks and weenie strategies.

reply

Old School Magic: Chapter 6 – Banning and Restricting in Old School – Vintage Magic says:

Oct 25,2016

[…] Chapter 5: New Strategies for the Old School: The Transmute Control Deck […]

reply

» This Week in Magic says:

Oct 16,2016

[…] Old School Magic Chapter 5: New Strategies for the Old School: The Transmute Control Deck […]

reply

Bryan Connolly says:

Oct 14,2016

Thanks Steve, it's a great card and want people to get the most out of it. Hope you carry on with the Old Schhol articles.

reply

Bryan Connolly says:

Oct 13,2016

Hi Steve, just to clarify for folks, unlike Tinker, Transmute doesn't require saccing of an articaft as part of the cost, it's part of the resolution, so if it's countered, you're card neutral. I've used this fact over the years to bait counteres – you could also be a bit of a tool by taking "which artifact are you saccing" to imply opponent is not responding (though I've never done this.) This does work both ways though, if the only artifact you have is a tapped mana vault say, if it's disenchanted or shattered, this will effectively counter the Transmute.

As it happens I was having fun this weekend Transmuting for Mirror, Howling Mine, City or Time Vault (plus some other targets) This tended to be followed by Twiddling Time Vault (not Bone Flute) many times and either Fireballing opponent, or using mirror to let them die to Juzam/'Dib or tapping their Brass to kill them from 1.

Cheers

Steve Menendian says:

Oct 14,2016

Thank you. I inserted some language to clarify this, and a separate point.

reply

Bryan Connolly says:

Oct 12,2016

Hi Steve, just to clarify for folks, unlike Tinker, Transmute doesn't require saccing of an articaft as part of the cost, it's part of the resolution, so if it's countered, you're card neutral. I've used this fact over the years to bait counteres – you could also be a bit of a tool by taking "which artifact are you saccing" to imply opponent is not responding (though I've never done this.) This does work both ways though, if the only artifact you have is a tapped mana vault say, if it's disenchanted or shattered, this will effectively counter the Transmute.

As it happens I was having fun this weekend Transmuting for Mirror, Howling Mine, City or Time Vault (plus some other targets) This tended to be followed by Twiddling Time Vault (not Bone Flute) many times and either Fireballing opponent, or using mirror to let them die to Juzam/'Dib or tapping their Brass to kill them from 1.

Cheers

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.